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microbial diseases laboratory

Test Order - Bordetella Pertussis Real-Time PCR

Pre-Approval Required


Supplemental Information or Form

1.  Nasopharyngeal swab aspirate from a patient with a high clinical suspicion of whooping cough that has been exposed to a confirmed case or is part of a suspected outbreak.

2.  A completed submittal form with 2 patient identifiers (e.g. name and date of birth). Please include the date of collection and information on the patient's suspected disease, clinical findings, antibiotics administered, and culture results.

3.  VPP-Form03.Pertussis PCR Test Request

Performed on Specimens From


Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

  1.  Nasopharyngeal swabs are the preferred specimens. This MUST be a Dacron swab. Place swab into Regan-Lowe transport medium immediately after collection. Dry swabs are also acceptable for PCR testing.

  2. Nasopharyngeal aspirates

Minimum Volume Required


Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping




Sample/Specimen Labeling


Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship at ambient temperature using appropriate DOT/IATA approved shipping procedures. Swabs should be shipped immediately at ambient temperature, or incubated for 48 hours at 35 °C prior to transport if immediate shipment is not possible.

Test Methodology

Real-time PCR

Turnaround Time

72 hours

Interferences & Limitations

Culture positive specimens or those collected from nonsterile body sites are not apprpriate for this testing

Additional Information

Please contact the MDL Vaccine Preventable Pathogens Unit for special consideration if any of the above criteria cannot be met.

MDL Points of Contact

 Vaccine Preventable Pathogens Unit (510) 412-3700 Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM PT


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